Japanese brokerage Rakuten Securities has issued an announcement, highlighting its performance in the first quarter of 2018. The company reports that its operating revenue increased sharply higher on a year-on-year basis. During the first three months of the year, the firm generated $513.5 million in revenues (¥55.9 billion), which is up 20 percent when compared to Q1 2017.
The revenue generated from commissions increased to $217.8 million (¥23.7 billion), which is up 13 percent year-on-year. The net trading income remained more or less flat at around $88 million (¥9.6 billion).
Trading on the Japanese markets was materially more active in the first quarter of the year, in tandem with turmoil across other global markets. The main driver for the volatility has been an increase in global trade tensions prompted by the Trump administration’s initiative to reduce the US trade deficit.
The Rise of Volatility
As the markets have become more volatile since the start of February, trading activity picked up across multiple asset classes. Japanese traders have been active throughout the quarter, with local brokers reporting significantly higher trading volumes during the months of February and March.
The lack of material developments in the first weeks of April has led to a decline in trading activity as the market is preparing for the next set of big news. Trade tensions have eased along with the softening of the spat between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
While the Japanese FX brokerage industry is facing uncertain times, due to upcoming regulatory changes, the main business of Rakuten is diversified via stocks, futures and other asset classes via multiple instruments.
The company is one of the major players delivering access to the local equity markets. Back in 2015, Rakuten also purchased the Japanese and Hong Kong FX business of FXCM.
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